9 answers

Security Blanket - When Is It Time to Go?

My son is 3 and has been attached to his security blanket since six months of age. Lately, he has almost been obsessive about it. When I say obsessive...the other day he bumped his head. Instead of yelling for Mommy or Daddy he went running in to the house looking for his beloved "ganget". He didn't want kisses or hugs until he had that blanket. This sort of behavior is happening more and more and he is trying to take it to more and more places. The other night we couldn't find the blanket. We searched everywhere...and they no longer sell his blanket, so a replacement is not an option. I was sure bedtime was going to be a nightmare and surprisingly it wasn't. He did cry a little and he was sad, but not hysterical. He made it through the night without his blanket. When he woke up he cried a bit, asked for his blanket, but again he wasn't hysterical. It's been two days and he asks for it and looks for it everywhere when we don't have him busy, but still no hysterics. Well, this morning I found his blanket. Do I give it back to him or continue weaning him off the blanket? Should the blanket go away forever even if he does have a big meltdown??? This Mommy is feeling a little guilty.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Well, I gave it back. At nap time today he was upset and told me he missed his blanket. Everyone is right, it isn't hurting a thing to let him have his blanket. It felt too much lying to him when I found it and didn't return it to him immediately. I did take some of the suggestions and my son and I decided it would be best if "ganget" stayed in bed from now on (he used to carry it EVERYWHERE, then we started making it stay in the car, then it had to stay home and now it will stay in his bedroom). We used to be able to replace it when it went missing, but it is no longer sold, so my son seemed to understand why it needs to stay in his room. In all honesty, I don't think Mommy is ready for the blanket to go just yet either. Thanks so much for all the suggestions and help!!

More Answers

You are a good mommy... I enjoyed reading your response as well as everyone else. My son is 2 1/2 and has a sponge-bob square pants hockey stick (padded); he takes it everywhere with him, it has duck tape on it, but when he's scared it calms him down. I slept with a big teddy bear until I was 21; I gave my "Mr. Bear" to my girlfriends toddler, who destroyed it, but he did play and loved it. Mr. Bear was my sleeping partner for a long time and I was glad for it...

1 mom found this helpful

I know this is a little old, but it caught my eye b/c I am almost 28 years old and STILL sleep with my "Peddy". The bear was a gift when I was a 1 1/2. I am not a "freak" or weird, but I still do. I even take it with me on vacations. I have 3 kids of my own and even they know I sleep with it. My hisband thinks its goofy, but even he has never commented on it being extreme. (And yes, we are normal =)
For some of us it is absolutly the security thing...especially as younger children. But then to be honest, it became a habit. Some habits are very hard to break and some...does it really matter if we do?

Like I said...I know this is late and it sounds like you have already handled it. But from someone who still does it...

As he gets to the point where it is only in his room and at bedtime, it won't hurt anyone by him keeping it. Odds are he will out grow it by the time he is out of elementary school. But if he doesn't so what. In the end when it is all said and done it is just a blanket that made him feel good and will if nothing else, provide funny stories later on.

The funny thing is, my two oldest (7&3) don't have a special thing. They have gone through short spells here and there but nothing long term. I guess I have made up for all of them :-)

1 mom found this helpful

Do not take away his blanket. That is so cruel. Sorry to be so blunt, but he loves his blanket and what harm is it doing? So what if he sleeps with his blanket and carries it around at home for the next few years. Who is is going to hurt? It is his security and helps calm him when he is upset. Why is that a bad thing? I encourage my children to use their blankets to help them through things like being scared in their own bed at night or being sad about something that happened to them. My oldest son wouldn't go 5 minutes without having his blanket around from 6 months old to 4 and a half. Then one day I noticed he just didn't have it with him anymore except at night. It made me kinda sad to see him not need blanky anymore. I hope you decide to give it back. I think that is why you feel guilty.

1 mom found this helpful

My 14 year old daughter still sleeps with her "security blanket"! And my best friend from high school still had hers (although by then it was more of a rag), and anytime she was really sad or sick she would cuddle with it.

Don't get me wrong, it's not that my 14 year old drags the thing around with her these days but once upon a time she was just like your son -- she took it with her everywhere. When she was about 4 we started putting parameters around when she could have it, mostly because it was getting beat up and because if it got lost we knew we couldn't replace it. So first we said it had to stay in the car when we went to stores, restaurants, etc. Then once she was comfortable with that we gradually moved on to "now it has to stay at home" and then eventually moved to "now you can only have it when you sleep."

Two years ago she went to Alaska for two weeks and I told her leave the blanket because she would be moving around a lot but she said she wouldn't leave it behind but guess what, she did! But luckily we were able to get it back. So now she won't even remove it from the house, even if we go on family vacation. I'm pretty sure she'll still have that thing when she's 100 years old!

1 mom found this helpful

Hard call. If he is dealing with it, although sad, if you think he really needs to not have it, this sounds like a good time. My daughters blanket was a godsend . I could take her anywhere and she was content as long as she had her blanket, the other three I (wished) had of had a blanket. My daughter with the blanket just sort of broke herself, she got older did stuff, and just quit (needing) it. I had a neighbor that her son had a little pillow, and as long as they had it, he would go to bed anywhere and be happy, and couldn't seem to without it, and I'm sure he was the age of your boy or older and still had his pillow. I know this isn't really helping on saying yes or no, but it gives you an idea about other kids out there for you to make the call yourself on what you want to do in your son's case.

1 mom found this helpful

I am so proud that you gave him back his blanket, it isn't hurting anything for him to have it. They are only young once and truthfully, it sounds like it is a really healthy development for him. That actually is great that when he got hurt he wanted his blankie, he is learning independence, you should be proud! I would just emphasize when you decide that it is time for the blankie to go away that big boys don't need blankies. But no rush. He won't be taking his blankie on dates in high school, no worries.

1 mom found this helpful

I'm glad you gave it back after it was found. My two had a bear (son) and blankie (daughter). They had them until my son was about 7 and daughter 4. We were moving from one assignment to anotehr and I let them keep them until they were comfortable in their new home. The only thing is I wish I had kept a piece of blankie to give to her now (32) and bear (35) but live and learn. He will be fine. Once again you did the right thing. He won't take it to prom I promise. The other S.

1 mom found this helpful

My son (almost 6) has his puppy blanket, it is like a real person to him and I am sure he will probably have it when he gets married :)I feel that 3 is kind of young to let go of it. I personally believe that the more confort a kid has through childhood the better as long as it does not interfere with normal activities (school, eating, etc) so I would just set some limits to it like: blanket stays at the house (unless you are traveling of course), blanket cannot be at the dinner table, cannot go to school, etc... At 3 they still go through separation/development jumps and he may be getting ready for one so he clings a little and then he leaps forward (all children do this, they kind of regress before taking a big developmental step) so let him be in control of when and how much he needs the blanket, he will really thank you for it later!!!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi. # years old is not too old for a security blanket. It is no different than a beloved stuffed animal some kids cling to. My now almost 6 year old daughter was given one of those small silky security blankets when she was also about 6 months old. She loved it right away and slept with it each night. By age 1 1/2 she started carrying it with her around the house and would ask if she could take it on outings, but we always said no to that. We just told her that "blankie" had to stay in the house because if she lost it she would be so sad and she accepted that. Sometimes she would lose it in the house, but we told her it was her "blankie" and that she had to keep up with it. She always found it on her own or else she did not sleep with it. Tough maybe, but it helped her to learn responsibility. As she approached kindergarten age we made a new rule that "blankie" could not leave her room and she accepted that too. Now she is almost 6 and she still likes her "blankie", but she only keeps it on her bed. I'm not worried about her taking it to college or anything and she is able to sleep without it on vacations and sleepovers. She has even mentioned keeping it until she grows up so she can give it to her own child! I think if your son is not hysterical about the blanket, I would not give it to him. If, however, you want to give it to him, or if he keeps mentioning it, I would make new rules for the blanket similar to the ones I mentioned above, especially the one about not letting the blanket out of the house. He is capable of understanding why it needs to stay at home and why he needs to keep up with it, especially now that he has experienced what it feels like to lose it and miss it. Good luck.

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